Metal To The Masses East Anglia (The Interviews)

MTM pic

Vicky Milne interviews the Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses finalists

Following on from the epicness that was the East Anglian M2M final 2015, Battle for Bloodstock, I thought it would be a great idea to get all of the bands together, for a pint and a nice light hearted chin wag to find out what they were all about and what they were up to. The bands were kind enough to oblige, and I met with the following chaps;

The Art of Escaping (taoe);
Justin – Vocals and Guitar

Dead Until Dusk (dud);
Moz – Bass and Vocals
BR – Vocals
Gonz – Guitar

Silenced by Shadows (sbs);
Mez – Bass
Traf – Guitar
David – Guitar

Khtonia (k);
Ben – Guitar
Jorge – Drums
Amethyst – Vocals

SoulBorn (sb);
Peter – Drums
Gareth – Guitar
Matt – Bass
Mike – Vocals and Guitar

Having decided to move location from the pub to Norwich Castle gardens, so that I could get everyone together in a slightly quieter, not sitting in the beer garden next to the main bus route through the city, type setting, we held on for David (sbs), Gonz (dud) and Amethyst (k), who had been slightly waylaid at the pub after David (sbs) had ordered a pre interview burger. Once they had arrived, we cracked on with the chat.
So Silenced By Shadows, whats coming up, how did you find m2m?
David (sbs) – he knows everything that fella behind you

Traf (sbs) – na he knows whats coming up

David (sbs) – I don’t know shit man, who are we? Who are you?

Peter (sb) – I’m Peter, the drummer from Soulborn, and I’m gonna get a lapdance from Amethyst, the lead singer of Khtonia

Now that I will have to video and put up on the internet for everyone to see

Traf (sbs) – Merik, go ahead, what’s coming up

Mez (sbs) – oh jeez, coming up for SBS, we’ve got a few things in the pipeline actually, we’ve got a music video coming up that we’re going to be filming for later this month, we’ve got a photo shoot to do some new band photo’s, put together some good shit to throw out online. We’re working towards our summer tour this year, July 10th to the 17th, we’re going from Great Yarmouth, up to Leeds and finishing back here in Norwich, we’re playing Open on the 17th, that’s gonna be a fantastic show, absolutely awesome, and I guess after that, the goal is to get back in to the studio to record the second EP, so we’ve got the tracks all ready for that and it’s just a matter of putting together funds after the tour and going in. so that’s what we’ve got coming up
So, what’s your style, for people that don’t know you?
Mez (sbs) – oh we are, ah, a pretty solid metalcore band

David (sbs) – teenage girl metal

Amethyst (k) – smells like teen spirit

Mez (sbs) – we’re steeped heavily in, well we get acquainted a lot with….what’s the word….

Matt (sb) – compared?

Mez (sbs) – Compared thank you! With Killswitch Engage a lot, and like, Parkway Drive, and all of that heavily riff based, kinda slower melodic breakdowns, some sing song along vocals with the choruses and stuff, pretty commonplace for us
Sweet, is there anything that you wanna say, shout out’s….?
Mez (sbs) – yeah a big shout out to metal to the masses and Bloodstock, it was absolutely awesome to play with all of these guys

*Collective cheer*

Mez (sbs) – it was just a great experience, a great stage, a lot of fun times, good music, yeah, absolutely awesome

David (sbs) – don’t forget Errol!

Mez (sbs) – oh and Errol! Errol for putting it together, did a great job he and Kim, great stuff. Oh and a big thanks to you for putting this together
Awh, you’re welcome
Mez (sbs) – thanks!
Dead Until Dusk, same questions….
Moz (dud) – ah no us next, what was the question……?
Ha ha, well, everything! Just, like, talk…
Moz (dud) – er

Mike (sb) – do it in an American accent, like Merik!

Moz (dud) – ah, currently not doing all that much, we are recording a CD….with him (points at David (sbs)), with his, fuckin face and technical ability, so yeah that will come out so we’ll have proper recordings that weren’t done in our front room, when we were drunk, umm, so that’ll be fun, other than that, not a lot……yelling at things some more….
Gigs coming up?
BR (dud) – we’ve got EZFest coming up, we’ve got….

Moz (dud) – EZ Fest, Brickfest and Ovalfest

Gonz (dud) – yep Brickfest!

BR (dud) – We’ve put forward to support Evil Scarecrow when they come back, again
Love them boys
BR (dud) – yeah we supported them…..was it last year?

Moz (dud) – yeah it was last year

BR (dud) – yeah it was pretty cool, great bunch of people, hopefully we’ll get to do it again at the Waterfront. Once we’ve got the EP sorted, we’ve got quite a few ideas for a music video

Moz (dud) – yeah we’ve got a really good idea for a music video, which involves chess players dressed like bikers
For which track?
Moz (dud) – we’re not sure yet….

*Everyone laughs*

Moz (dud) – it depends which one sounds best on the recording, it’s mainly down to him (David (sbs)) which one we use, but yeah. A chess gang, that’s a biker gang, you know, ‘Pawns of Satan’, like er, patched members of a chess club, but it’s a chess club with a criminal syndicate inside it! Right, so, dealing drugs, selling women, killing eachother, but they have an interest in chess…..
So will it be like Battlechess, so like, if they are playing chess they kick the shit out of eachother….
Moz (dud) – na they’ll play chess, get angry with eachother, throw the board everywhere, fight, it’ll be like chess in prison
Prison rules!
Moz (dud) – ha ha prison rules chess, chess is metal as fuck
And just describe your style, for people that don’t know…..
Moz (dud) – ……….it sounds like a…man being sick…

Matt (sb) – but having a great time doing it

Moz (dud) – yeah! You know when you’re really drunk and throwing up, but you can carry on? Yeah that’s Dead Untill Dusk…..and hitting a metal bin….with some guitars…
Ha ha okay, that’s a really good description!
Moz (dud) – works for me……Ah yeah, shout out to Christopher Lee, for having more metal in his nuts than all of us put together. That guy fuckin rules
Absolutely, definitely…awesome thanks guys!

Right! Khtonia!?
Jorge (k) – heeeyyy

Ben (k) – I’ll just join in occasionally ha ha

Jorge (k) – okay at the moment we are working on new stuff basically, just working on new tracks, make them …..

*Cue Amethyst (k) grinding up against Peter (sb) beside me, both of them thoroughly enjoying it…

Justin (taoe) – behave yourself!*

Jorge (k) – …….you know as ready as we can get them to start gigging them. We’re gonna be…

Ben (k) – EP

Jorge (k) – yes working on the EP very soon

Ben (k) – the next few months hopefully

Jorge (k) – the next few months definitely. Gigs wise, we have one in about 2 days for the Mammothfest warm up, with Soulborn, we promise to smash it a little bit more! Then we are travelling to…

Ben (k) – Bury

Amethyst (k) – yes Bury, in July for a charity gig

Jorge (k) – to play with The Art of Escaping!!

Justin (taoe) – what? What are we doing?

Ben (k) – then, month after that, B2 Norwich with Rannoch, Belial, Grimmace and Atlas?

Amethyst (k) – yep!

Ben (k) – got that coming up, should be a good night, but after that, it’s mainly just focusing on getting the EP done in the studio
Have you got any gigs coming up further afield?
Ben (k) – not as of yet but..

Jorge (k) – again, I’m working on some stuff, um, lets see how things are going, I’m still in conversations with promotors about touring gigs coming to Norwich, we’ve got stuff in the pipeline, so we’re working on that. We expect to have something very soon for everyone to enjoy, definitely.
And just describe your style…
Jorge (k) – We play melodic black metal, there’s no other way to put it. Just raw, cruel and headbang until your neck falls off!

Ben (k) – yeah it’s gonna be a big few months for us definitely, coming up towards the end of the year, a lot of things should be happening
Awesome, and how was Metal to the Masses for you
Jorge (k), Ben (k) and Amethyst (k) – awesome!!

Ben (k) – it was the best gig we’ve ever played

Amethyst (k) – I nearly strip teased myself, it was so good, everyone was awesome, it was a great experience definitely. A big shout out to Errol for putting us on the bill, and for us it was a good opportunity and every local band to expose themselves in public
That’s one way to put it I suppose!!
Amethyst (k) – well, perhaps, get their image out there, I don’t mean nudity! Ha ha

Ben (k) – shout out to everyone coming to our show, can’t believe how many people have come to each show we’ve played. We’ve had this stable line-up or about 4 months now, that’s it, and we’ve been pulling ridiculous amounts of people to every show, and it means a hell of a lot to us, it really does. Thanks!
Brilliant thanks! So now I’ll move on to The Art Of Escaping…
Justin (taoe) – ooohhhh
Justi (taoe) – hellooo, right well, where do I start..
Metal to the Masses, how did you find it?
Justin (taoe) – Yeah good, umm, we first of all didn’t know if we should be involved with it, as we’re not the most metal band in the world, but we were asked and we were told that if we weren’t suitable we wouldn’t have been asked, so we played. Didn’t do too well in the first round, went out, got called back in as a wildcard, go through to the final and enjoyed it. So yeah it was awesome
Obviously you said that you’re not really, metal, so, what is it that you are?
Justin (taoe) – err, don’t know….
Ha ha
Justin (taoe) – I’m still honestly struggling to know. We’re influenced by metal, we’re influenced by rock, umm, but ultimately what I would class us as, I dunno……rock with metal influences, that’s about it. Like, it’s just whatever comes out that sounds good we don’t necessarily try to do anything, it’s just what comes out naturally
You’ve kinda got that sort of, mixture of everything, you’ve got the heavy riffs, but then you’ve got the melody and the clean vocals…
Justin (taoe) – yeah it was always gonna be about singing, coz I can’t scream
Me neither ha ha
*Cue everyone behind me giving their best roar*

Justin (taoe) – I have tried but it sounds dreadful, so I just don’t do it ha ha, so we just do the singing instead and keep the music heavy in places. Actually, we only formed in February 2014, and we only played our first gig in August 2014, so to get to the final anyway for us was a big achievement.

Matt (sb) – That’s great

Justin (taoe) – can’t grumble

*A note from me to say, I was roughly filming this, just so that I could see who was speaking when, when trying to type this up……*

Traf (sbs) – she’s filming your crotch more than your face!

Justin (taoe) – I know! That’s why I’m keeping it covered
Ha ha I’m just holding the camera no intention of crotch shooting ha ha
Matt (sb) – can you blame her…

Gareth (sb) – his shorts keep getting higher as well, he’s smuggling a walnut shell

Matt (sb) – at least you weren’t wearing sandals with socks

Justin (taoe) – I did earlier…
Okay, so what have you got coming up?
Justin (taoe) – coming up….um, we’re writing, we’re possibly gonna record an album, we’ve got enough material for an album, it’s just whether we do it. The thing is now, I don’t know if anyone else feels the same, but everything that you do gets forgotten about pretty much immediately. So, if you stick a four track EP out, people have forgotten about it like 2 months later. So, to stick an album out, which is like 10-11 tracks, which is gonna take months to record, and then people forget about it as soon as you put it out there, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the route to go down, or whether we should just be putting out individual tracks to keep the interest there. Don’t really know. But anyway, the plan is to record an album or record some stuff, carry on writing. We’ve got a gig at the end of July for Rockbandom radio which is a charity gig for cancer, which we’re very keen on doing

Where-abouts is that?

Justin (taoe) – That’s in Bury St Edmunds on I think about 25th July, I think you guys are playing too aren’t you (Khtonia)

Amethyst (k) – yeah yeah yeah, at least we’re supporting, it’s gonna be great fun, we can’t wait

Justin (taoe) – yeah so that will be good. It’s all busy in the world of us, when we get time, in amongst real life
Any shout outs
Justin (taoe) – yeah Rockbandom Radio, Scottie, Adam, Errol, yeah and everyone who’s supported us, big time thanks

Traf (sbs) – you’re welcome

Justin (taoe) – thanks Traf!
And finally, SoulBorn, you’re all pointing at each other, somebody talk to me ha ha
Mike (sb) – Matt you speak… or….Pete!!!

Matt (sb) – hhhiiiiii…
Matt (sb) – umm….. Guide me!

Justin (taoe) – it’s awesome isn’t it, camera gets in your face and that’s it!
Don’t panic, it’s only a video so I know who’s talking ha ha
Matt (sb) – so what do you want to know

Justing (taoe) – tell us about your beard
Yeah tell us about your beard, it’s a nice beard, do groom it regularly?
Gareth (sb) – it’s the only body hair he’s got!
So tell us about the band, your style, what’s coming up, you’ve done your new video….
Matt (sb) – okay so try and describe the band, um, I don’t think we fit into a pigeon hole so you can say we’re a x, y, z metal band. We get likened to Pantera, Black Label Society, what else….

Mike (sb) – umm, Down

Matt (sb) – Yeah Down, we get likened to a lot of southern metal bands, but there’s tech influence, there’s grunge influence, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. We’ve been doing it about 5 years. We’re not very driven, but we enjoy it. The Metal to the Masses was a bit of a kick up the arse to take it seriously and apply ourselves, which feels good
Because obviously, you won the final…
Matt (sb) – yeah apparently! Yeah we thought about what we were gonna do, we looked at the set, tried to make it flow and make sense

Justin (taoe) – sucked off a judge

Gareth (sb) – oh is that what it was for?!
Gareth you were just doing it for the sheer hell of it
Gareth (sb) – yep!

Justin (sb) – so what’s in the pipeline apart from a new strap?

Matt (sb) – yeah get a new strap
Matt (sb) – on my bass

Mike (sb) – you said strap on!
I know
Penny drops
Mike (sb), Gareth (sb) – aahhh ha ha!

Traf (sbs) – Mike’s gonna go up two octaves

Mike (sb) – no way, I’m going down, gonna go lower

*For information, Mike’s speaking voice is about 7 octaves below the lowest note you can think of*

Matt (sb) – Metal to the Masses was great. We figured we stood a chance when we entered but didn’t expect to win

Mike (sb) – the last time we entered was 20…11?

Amethyst (k) – 2012, yeah I remember

Mike (sb) – and we didn’t get through the first round. When they said you’re in this one this year, we were like, ahh okay, we’ll give it a try and play
All I have in my ear is growling from everyone while you’re talking Mike ha ha
Mike (sb) – ha ha it’s cool
And as we’ve said, you won the final this year, what is that you’ve won
Matt (sb) – we won the opportunity to play Bloodstock on the New Blood Stage, which is pretty cool, it’s nice to be able to play a festival, and not have a record label, and not pay thousands of pounds to do it. So, it’s really cool, it’s nice to get there on merit.

Mike (sb) – we’re gonna make a really cool new album

Matt (sb) – yep, we’ve just shot a video
Yep that was for Strive
Matt (sb) – available on youtube, we’ll try and shoot another one soon coz it was a lot of fun. We’re gonna look a bit harder into recording an album which we’ve been talking about for a long time but we can’t really find the funds to do it, so it’s gonna be either D.I.Y. or gofundme/kickstarter kind of campaign, still writing new stuff

Mike (sb) – I’m really happy to be going to Bloodstock, that’s what this is about

Matt (sb) – yeah, we’d very much like to thank the guys at Bloodstock, thank Errol and Kim for running the competition in Norwich thank everyone that came out to support us

Mike (sb) – and I’m gonna faint on stage as soon as I walk out there
And I’ll catch it all on camera
Gareth (sb) – Oh, we’ve both got cars for sale

Matt (sb) – got an ’03 plate, Astra estate about 50k, 11 moths MOT, about £750

Gareth (sb) – ’55 PT Cruiser, 12 months MOT, £1500 but I’ll go to £1200

Mike (sb) – I’ve got a car with a broken head gasket so I’m looking to pay about £400 or £500
Peter, anything for sale
Peter (sb) – yeah, I walked here today

Mike (sb) – and he’s got a big beard now as well, this is why we won M2M

Peter (sb) – I grew a beard in the hope that we’d make it through to Bloodstock, and I said to the missus, if we didn’t make it through, I’d shave my beard off, so now she’s stuck with it…unlucky!

Gareth (sb) – and you’re single now!!
So what gigs have you got coming up
Matt (sb) – We’re playing the Mammothfest warm up this weekend with loads of great bands. The week after we’re playing a biker festival in Milton Keynes with our friends in Hedra. They’ve got a few more dates throughout the year that we’re gonna try and tag along to, try and get out of Norwich a bit, would be nice to travel about a bit.

Gareth (sb) – winners party

Matt (sb) – yeah Errol is putting on a winners party so that’ll be, Killerhurts, Shrapnel

Mike (sb) – Synaptik

Gareth (sb) – Back Down or Die

Matt (sb) – yeah all the bands that have won the M2M in Norwich. So yeah, we’re just gonna look to get some more gigs

Mike (sb) – this is the kick up the arse we needed really

Matt (sb) – yeah so time to take it seriously and do some stuff.
Any more shout outs just to finish off?
Mike (sb) – hi mum

Matt (sb) – yeah Mike’s mum, yeah and, shout out to our kids, all of them, and Pete’s kids
Awesome, thanks guys
Thanks to everyone for sparing me their Thursday evening, I had a blast!

Since this interview was done, the MammothFest Showcase that has been touring the UK, was held in Norwich, with Soulborn and Khtonia being invited to play Mammothfest in Brighton in October which is fantastic.

Check out everyone via the links below and keep an eye out for gigs near you!

The Art of Escaping
Catch Me If You Can – video – Catch Me If You Can 
Facebook AOE
Dead Until Dusk
Let’s Get The Beers In – video 
Facebook Dead Until Dusk
Silenced by Shadows
Sticks and Stones – lyric video 
video – 
Strive – video
SoulBorn facebook
Review for the Metal 2 the Masses Final in Norwich, with a section on each bands performance. Check it out!